Matt | 21 September 2020

Women In Software Engineering

The technology industry, and software engineering, in particular, is a fast-paced and highly competitive world. Everything we do these days is based around software in one way or another, and the demand for software engineers is ever-growing.

Despite this increase in demand, the software industry is still very male-dominated. Women in software engineering are few and far between, and there is a long-standing stereotype that tech jobs are for men. Unfortunately, the industry often overlooks the successes of females in the field, and many have to work harder than their male counterparts to get to where they want to be.

Why Is Software Engineering A Male-Dominated Industry?

One of the biggest barriers for women getting into software engineering is simply that they don’t know they can. Many women are unaware that a career in software development is an option for them. This is because many individuals perceive it as an industry for men. It can be a difficult world to break into as a woman. However, it is one that is very rewarding and worthwhile.

Stanford’s Computer Science department conducted research on why women don’t pursue studies in Computer Science. They found that a lack of role models was a key reason. There is a distinct lack of visibility for successful female developers. This is despite there being many females that have had a significant impact on the industry. Some notable female software engineers in recent times include;

  • Linda Liukas: Co-founded Rails Girls, a community to help make technology more approachable to women.
  • Gwen Barzey: One of the very first programmers in Canada, and her story is an inspiration to women in the industry.
  • Sandi Metz: A successful speaker and author with a passion for ‘advancing the craft of programming’.

Why We Need More Women In Software Engineering

We all know that women can often face additional challenges to men in the workplace. Many have to sacrifice careers in order to take care of a family. Furthermore, there are far more opinions on what a woman should wear or how she should behave.

However, women are breaking out of these stereotypes and notions, particularly within the software industry. The software engineering world is beginning to see an upsurge in female software developers, and they are doing great things. Any woman who is enthusiastic and has a knack for technology has the potential to become an excellent software engineer.

Software engineers of any gender are in huge demand at the moment, with software developers expecting to see a 13% employment growth over the next four years. This is driven by a current shortage of technology talent, and an increased usage in computers in all aspects of our daily lives.

Because of the high demand for software engineers, salaries for these roles are at an all-time high, for both men and women. Whilst there are still some concerns over the gender pay gap in the industry, it shouldn’t put women off heading for a career in software engineering. The more women take on these roles, the more chance they have of getting the gender pay gap eliminated.


It is a common misconception that men make better software engineers than women. While an individual’s gender shouldn’t make any difference to their ability to code and create software, studies have actually shown that women are often better for the job. The study looked at pull requests placed on GitHub and revealed that codes written by women have an approval rate of 78.6%, compared with men at 74.6%.

Women In Software Engineering

As we discussed previously, the software engineering industry often lacks role models for women. This isn’t because there aren’t any notable software engineers and developers around, but because they are often unheard of. In addition to the three ladies we already mentioned, there are many more inspirational women in the industry;

  • Julia Liuson: Julia is probably one of the most well-known women in software development. Those who frequently use C# or VB.NET have her to thank for improved productivity. Notably, Julia’s biggest contribution to software engineering is Visual Studio which is used often by Windows application developers.
  • Marissa Mayer: Marissa is former CEO of Yahoo!, and while the company haven’t had the best reputation recently, her contributions shouldn’t be downplayed. She started at Yahoo! as a developer and was promoted to CEO in 2013, which is a huge accomplishment in itself. Not only that but Marissa was the first female engineer for Google and was the driving force behind big projects including Gmail, Google Maps and Google Earth.
  • Natalia Burina: Natalia’s career over the last 15 years has been filled with many achievements in software engineering. She has a degree from the University of Washington in math and computer science and has worked for big companies including Facebook, Microsoft and eBay.

Developing A Career In Software Engineering

If you want to follow in the footsteps of these inspirational women and pursue a career in software engineering, you can do so with TSG Training. We offer a range of software engineering and development courses to kickstart or further your career in the industry.

Our PHP Programming & MySQL for Web Development course is a 5-day course that provides the knowledge to work with PHP scripts, MYSQL database system and HTML. It is perfect for those looking to create web-based systems and UNIX and Windows users.

Another popular course is Ruby Programming & Ruby on Rails. This gives learners the knowledge to develop and maintain Ruby scripts and Rails-based projects. The 5-day course is ideal for anyone who needs to maintain and write scripts in Ruby.

Not only do we offer a huge collection of online and offline courses, but we also have a range of free webinars. These cover popular topics and can provide useful insights into a course. ISTQB Advanced Technical Test Analyst webinar explains why the course is relevant and who it is for. For more information on our courses and webinars, and to discuss your learning needs, get in touch with our team today.